X Factor 2017 Week 1 Review: Dermot, The Silent Assassin

In the absence of Simon, whom do we trust to be most unerringly on-message? Dermot, of course. Dermot is known on Sofabet as “the silent assassin”, for his ability to slip the knife in during his post-song interviews. The last weekend brought a few gems.

Sofabet commenter Alan noted one in the very first performance: “Dermot’s ‘not cocky’ comment to Rai-Elle made me smile”, he wrote. Planting the thought”. Indeed. Dermot informed Rai-Elle that she’s “fearless. Not cocky. Fearless”. It’s the old “don’t think of an elephant” principle – on some level people don’t hear the “not”, they’re just left with a vague association between Rai-Elle and the word “cocky”.

In our pre-lives 1-16 prediction, we’d noticed that there seemed to be an effort to associate the word “attitude” with her, too.

The Week 1 styling, staging and song choice (“My name is ‘No’, My sign is ‘No’, My number is ‘No'”) won’t have done much to shift that word association. Drip, drip, drip.

With Leon, the Silent Assassin was less subtle: “I remember when you didn’t get through judges’ houses,” Dermot reminded us, “and indeed six-chair challenge”, he helpfully added, “you saying to me the standard of the boys is so high…”. Translation: there’s a reason you’ve been rejected twice.

The contrast with the question to Grace was hilarious: “your song went down so well in the arena, how do you feel?” As she walked off stage, he added, as if to himself, “that was wonderful”. Rak-Su got a helpful bit of brand-building, too: “doing your own thing, I know that’s very important to you guys…”.

And TracyLeanne was in line for some praise-wrapped-up-in-a-question: “The gratitude, the humility you show, it’s wonderful to see. How did it feel up there for you tonight?”

He doesn’t do this with everyone, of course – many acts get an anodyne softball. And that helps viewers to keep thinking of him as a neutral figure, making his occasional well-chosen filletings all the more effective. Which brings us to the first two assassinations of the series, with the Silent Assassin – as usual – playing a role.

Floored by faint praise

“You could question that shot of her leaving her family in the middle of the night” – Martin. “I loved the arrows pointing off stage at the end of Spencer’s act!” – tpfkar.

We like to analyse the X Factor assassinations, and it’s worth taking a look at the Spencer and Talia takedowns. Both were obviously in the crosshairs, and producers will have been pleased to hit their targets.

How can we tell? Both had early draws without the excitement that’s required in opening the first live shows of the series. Their VTs weren’t as ruthless as we’ve sometimes seen. Still, there were some worrying signals for fans of either: in Spencer’s case the repeated references to his being an American visitor to these shores; and most notably for Talia, the image of her leaving her partner and young child in the twilight. “Gonna miss them so much,” she exclaimed.

Staging-wise, Spencer was affected by some particularly egregious lighting. We’ve often noted that the “cage of light” effect is a way of putting a barrier up between the act and the audience – both in the studio and at home. Initially, Spencer had a blue semi-circular cage between him and those present, in a generally gloomy stage.

Halfway through, purple was added to the light mix, both in the cage of light, on the backdrop of TV interference and pointing arrows (exit this way?), and with other spotlights not focused on him. It wasn’t quite Blue Man Anton from 2015, but the purple/blue effect was unflattering on his face, and did nothing to lighten the mood.

Talia’s lighting – standing flash lamps that we’ve seen used before, and plenty of gold – wasn’t the problem. Rather it was the funereal arrangement of One’s Direction ‘That’s What Makes You Beautiful’ that sucked all the energy and sense of happy familiarity out of the song (much like Saara Aalto’s week one ‘Let It Go’ did last year). Alesha happily referenced this. “I didn’t love the arrangement… maybe you should try something fun and upbeat if you get through next week,” she said.

Judges’ comments were a problem for both acts, markedly less positive than for everyone else on each night. Sharon did praise Spencer’s vocals, but the focus of her remarks was: “I’d like you to work on your looks and your moves because it’s a bit boyband… Be a bit more individual… Don’t copy anyone else.” Spencer had been plagued by such critique ever since his room audition. There, Sharon had also told him not to be “someone else”, while it was Simon who suggested he’d come to audition for “one of Louis’s boy bands”.

Nicole’s manner was most off-putting, because she kept hesitating as if she couldn’t find anything nice to say before reminding us, “my fellow countryman, all the way from Ohio… Er, it was a pleasure meeting your parents… Er, I’m really proud of you, I felt that entire performance was so honest”. As Spencer’s mentor, Louis did have some praise before reminding us of Sharon’s criticism: “There’s nothing wrong with boy bands.”

Dermot moved in for the old one-two. He jabbed with, “what do you make of the criticism from Sharon? She’s not criticising the voice, she’s just criticising the look.” Then, when Spencer was on the ropes, Dermot continued the clueless American tourist theme by joking that Spencer “thought all of Britain was like Thorpe Park”.

Talia also had to deal with compliments so faint, they might as well not have bothered. Louis started with one of his embarrassing comparisons – “you remind me a little bit of a young Barbra Streisand”.

Sharon picked up that gauntlet. She went on to say, “what a new-found confidence you have, you naughty little girl. I didn’t recognise you. It’s quite fabulous.” Nicole had a Walshism of her own when she pointlessly said, “are we all excited right now?… You remind me of a young Taylor Dayne.”

Dermot decided to refer back to the distracting Barbra Streisand discussion. Oh, Dermot…

Manx missiles

“…it sounds like he lives closer to Norwich than Great Yarmouth” – Fudd. “As someone from Sheffield, I can tell you the idea of a ‘Yorkshire regional vote’ is a bit ridiculous” – Edie M.

Regional vote shoutouts never fail to amuse on X Factor, and the weekend brought plenty to savour – notably Sam emphasising that he’s from the Isle of Man, Louis expressing astonishment at learning that people live on the Isle of Man, and Dermot (there he goes again!) chastising Louis for alienating Sam’s core Isle of Man vote. Later it transpired that the app doesn’t even work on the Isle of Man.

Poor old Sam. In the midst of the Manx mockery, he got in another karaoke self-reference and – showing an apparently unerring aim for his own foot – assured Dermot in the post-performance interview that his vocals weren’t the best. Louis had earlier invited Sharon to concur with his praise of Sam, and she duly observed that he has… skinny legs. The show managed to find a modern song for Sam that sounded like it was from 1961, and backdrops seemed to have come from a Google image search for “Americana, circa 1961”.

Since the show, we’ve had tabloid revelations about Sam’s ABH conviction at the age of 18. Still, at least he’s from Liverpool in The Sun.

We’re intrigued by the regional shoutouts because we assume the show will have a much better idea about their influence on the vote now that they have app votes, which we assume come geo-tagged. This seems like a good time to revisit the longstanding debate among Sofabet commenters about the regional vote question. We think there are three rules of thumb.

1. Size matters: one would rather be billed as from Liverpool (pop: 465k) than the Isle of Man (pop: 83k). Another example from this week: Leon described himself in his VT as being from near Norwich (pop 213k), while Louis appealed for votes for him from Great Yarmouth (pop: 47k). We’d seen Leon singing Cliff Richard to pensioners in Great Yarmouth, in a VT that rivalled Sam’s for conveying the impression that he didn’t really think he deserved his place in the live shows.

2. Cohesion matters: this is a much more subjective criterion. We would guess, for example, that “Wales” (pop: 3.06m)  is pretty cohesive: most people from Wales probably feel at least some degree of kinship with other people described as being from Wales. As part of his chance to shine from Saturday’s pimp slot, Lloyd got to be “the pride of Wales”, in Dermot’s words, while Louis asked everyone in Wales to pick up the phone.

Lloyd’s staging, incidentally, was kind – an enormous star on the stage. Or was it, perhaps, a star that’s fallen to earth? Perhaps that’ll happen when Lloyd is billed as from the Rhondda Valley (pop: 72k).

Contrast Wales with, say, “the North” (pop: 14.5m), from which Louis appealed for votes for Holly. Our anecdotal experience is that most people from “the North” won’t feel much natural kinship for others described as being from “the North”. The identity is more local, based around big industrial towns, counties or parts of counties. Dermot had previously tagged Holly as the “Barnsley Barnstormer” (pop: 213k). Our commenters debated what the optimal mix of size and cohesion might be for Holly. South Yorkshire?

Speaking of counties, Leon did also get to be from Norfolk (pop: 859k), admittedly as part of an amusingly absurd “Norfolk-Philippines double-header” as Dermot threw to an ad break. Of course, it’s no use coming from a large, cohesive group if they can’t vote, as was discovered by Spencer from America (pop: 323m).

3: Phrasing matters… maybe: in 2011, Louis informed Janet Devlin that “everyone in Ireland is picking up the phone”. Because all guns were trained on Janet at this point, and it was such a departure from the usual “I want everyone in Ireland to pick up the phone” phrasing, we suspected this was deliberately intended to demotivate votes from Janet fans outside of Ireland by suggesting the Irish had it covered.

What, then, to make of Louis informing the Cutkelvins that “Scotland will be voting for you”? Probably nothing much – maybe it even motivates the Scots through social proof. But if producers are having some fun this year with regional vote shoutouts because they’ve learned something about them from the app, it might be worth keeping our ears peeled for this kind of thing.

Alternatively, it could just be that producers are mentioning regions at every opportunity simply in a bid to shore up the desperate ratings through local news coverage. In which case this speculation is all pointless – if still fun.

United Colours of Watford

We had plenty of family cameos in the first weekend, notably Holly’s reliably tearful Grandad and Lloyd’s fish finger-wielding Nanny Christine (both duly referenced in Dermot’s post-song interviews). But we were especially struck by the Rak-Su mums – a heartwarming picture of multicultural Britain at ease with itself.

With the recent list of X Factor winners looking very white – only Leigh-Anne has Little-Mixed things up since Leona in 2006 and Alexandra in 2008 – we wonder if producers might find this Benetton ad-esque image as appealing as we did.

The bigger picture

“The two acts that were favourites in the betting and had received the most favourable pre-live edits have won the first two shows so what is there to indicate that someone else is going to win? Surely this is exactly where TPTB want to be” – Alan. 

We love our rabbit holes here at Sofabet. For fellow aficionados, here’s a daft food-related one to rival Grace’s Prawn Cocktail Skips: could Sharon have been asked to mispronounce Rak-Su as “Katsu”, to accentuate the association of them with enjoyably spicy food after Nicole picked up on the “fajita” line from their lyrics? Probably not, but it keeps us amused.

There are times, however, when we need to zoom out and look at the bigger picture. And as Alan says in the comment quoted above, it really does look quite simple. Which two acts got the most consistently good overall treatment in the audition stages? Grace and Rak-Su. Did those two acts get good treatment in the first live shows? Yes. Who won the first two live shows? Grace and Rak-Su. If TPTB are where they want to be, they need to keep the wheels on for only four more weeks till the final.

Even in the shortened run of live shows, however, we fully expect other acts to be given their moment in the sun – and when that happens, it’s often not easy to be sure whether it’s a sign of underlying, long-term favour or just mixing things up a bit. Emily Middlemas’s ‘Creep’ last year looked plausibly like the former, but turned out to be the latter.

Producers especially need to mix things up this year because they’ve boxed themselves into a corner with announcing the winners of the first two votes: if they keep doing that, they surely need some votes to be won by someone other than Grace and Rak-Su or viewers will get bored. So who could be in line for a helping hand?

In the boys category, Lloyd got his chance this week, and couldn’t top the vote from the pimp slot. It would be a surprise if they gave Leon or Sam a push, given the pretty consistent disdain with which they’ve been treated so far. Among the girls, perhaps either Holly or Alisah, who can both deliver the big notes, might be in line for a moment.

In the overs, they couldn’t have done much more for TracyLeanne, and maybe they’ll try again with her. Perhaps they’d risk giving Matt a moment if they’re confident they can cut him back down again quickly. Most likely candidates overall would appear to be the Cutkelvins among the groups – we’re looking forward to seeing how much distance is put between Shereen and the lads this weekend.

As ever, do keep the conversation flowing below with your continued thoughts on last week and reactions to news about this week’s song choices and show format as they emerge over the next couple of days.

Photos via ©ITV / @ThePixelFactor

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84 comments to X Factor 2017 Week 1 Review: Dermot, The Silent Assassin

  • Anglia Chu

    On the regional vote: I wonder if Louis will ask the sheep to vote when they take down the Price brothers. They’ve mentioned that their neighbours are sheep several times since their audition.

    On giving other acts a chance in the sun: how about Kevin Davy White? He’s not a threat in the votes + he’s capable enough.

  • Anglia Chu

    By the way, milkshakes in a diner-esque setting while wearing a leather jacket is not 1961, it’s the 50s. Sam Black is turning back time

  • RandomLincs

    This is rabbit hole territory, but during Talia’s dirge, I found myself wondering if the flinging lights were sending out an SOS in morse code.

    Simon Cowell’a return will be interesting, I think there will be a lot of ‘TV audience point-of-view’ comments from him. I’m expecting a big dampening of Conor and the Other One; I thought they were terrible (and the recap picked their weakest moments), and couldn’t understand the gushing praise. Unless Shereen and the Woo-Woo Boys tanked, Conor and the Other One aren’t going to be around for long.

    Louis looks like being the first mentor to lose all four acts. The boys’ group looks (and sounds) hopeless, and two have pretty much rules themselves out. Weird.

  • Drooshka

    Hi all

    Longtime lurker first time poster.

    Here are my thoughts on the new format;
    – the theme of the year is talent and originality. It’s an understandable move that tries to give them the winner they want in the wake of Louisa rigging blowback spooking them sufficiently to allow for, well, Matt to happen.
    – so what do you do? You talk up favoured acts as credible, original etc. Hence the emphasise on original material (I don’t think it’s a coincidence there’s been so much of it in auditions and the first week. It doesn’t really matter now if their favoured acts go for tried and tested covers for the rest of the run. The meme has been planted by them and many dear departed/long forgotten also-rans- so not the same as previous attempts in other seasons which have felt cursory and half hearted). This year I think they think they have perfected the approach.

    – next “give” all the “power” to the public to “decide” by doing away with judges votes.
    But that’s risky, right? Well it can be mitigated in a number of ways:

    – shorten the run of lives. Hell, it’s what people in focus groups says they want, right? It’s also a happy consequence that they have greater control over edit and presentation of acts for much more of the run. Five weeks is not enough time for a rogue unexpected favourite to emerge.

    – do away with the song off to leave. As our erudite editors here have shown year after year in their analysis of the voting figures: the sympathy bounce is a thing. No sing off – no sympathy bounce the following week. In a five week run a sympathy bounce is a massive liability.

    – the new “winners’ singoff” has the pluses and minuses outlined by others already but it becomes inevitable once you’ve done all of the above and does have the added bonus of exposing viewers to their favoured acts repeatedly – not least to their unfamiliar original songs.

    Just a note on silent assassins: was it just me or was Nicole drafted in at short notice to play the Simon Cowell role of directing voter intention this week?

    I thought she was pretty much on message with what we believe to be TPTB intentions the whole night, save Grace at the end (but to me that read as a combination of vote motivating “excessive criticism” – a classic Cowell tactic – and an attempt to avoid rigging claims). It was all there: damp squib praise, controversy about song choice, voting tense parsing.

    Louis then played his usual role on the second night of playing mummy’s little helper to TPTB when Nicole couldn’t as an interest party. We’re very used to that from him over years and years so it never feels odd but something jarred about Nicole the whole Saturday night.

    Thanks for reading my first post if you got to the end of this. It was a long one soz!

    • Drooshka

      Me again:
      I think all of the above is why Grace had that very staged (by Sharon – I’m sure Grace is perfectly lovely and straightforward) dramatic wobble at judges houses. If she is anointed the whole way through she becomes Louisa. This way they got their dramatic dip out of the way at exactly the point in the season you’d want it without risking an adverse public vote.

      Ok, now I’m done. Thanks.

  • Tim B

    Great points, Drooshka. I hope you stick around!

    Similarly to Grace, another person who had a wobble at judges’ houses was Sam Bailey. This was both in the edit (Robbie Williams) and her performance.

  • Joe Lemer

    If it’s groups v boys this Saturday as rumoured how about this. The Cutkelvins lead singer being the only female performer that night could shine even brighter toppling Raksu in the vote perhaps?

    Grace v the Overs on Sunday could then be in danger from Matt. Maybe then the race for this year’s crown isn’t so clear cut.

    • India Marie

      A threat from the Overs could be in the interest of the show. Given how effortless Grace’s win was, some short-term volatility is good as far as TPTB are concerned

  • India Marie

    Who do you make as the targets (positive or negative) of the theme choice? Seeing the weird Latino music theme reminded me of the show axing Big Band as a regular in series 7; that, IMHO, was aimed to protect their preferred acts (Cher Lloyd, One Direction).

    • Martin

      Given the success of Despacito and the endless other songs riding its coat tail this year, it seems like more of an effort to prove how current and relevant the show is in the current music climate. Based on that, Rak su and Cutkelvins seem like the acts who it will suit most. I think, as a broad brush, Dermot named the theme as “carnival” which could be rather broad but it’s not something that seems a natural fit for Grace.

      Of the others, it will permit Jack and Joel another fun performance. Rae Elle seems adaptable, Traceyleanne pulled out a surprise performance last weekend and I wouldn’t be surprised to see another similar one.

      All the others could be questioned.

  • Louis Walsh was on Celebrity Juice tonight and was asked whether he thinks he’s got the winner this year. “Err…I think I’ll have someone in the final,” he said.

  • Misty

    I noticed during Spencer’s clip they played an Ed Sheeran song in the background with the line “wait for me to come home” right an the end of the clip showing him reuniting with his parents. This would give a subliminal message to the viewers.

  • Martin

    Group song choices according to official XF twitter:

    Rak su – original song
    Sean and Connor price – cheap thrills (sia)
    Cutkelvins – hey di (cnco)
    Jack and joel – Havana (camilla cabello)

    • India Marie

      Simon is milking the show’s 5 million viewers to promote Camila, I see

      I wonder if Grace will do an original too. She said on Twitter that she has choreography, and judging by her songs so far, that sounds like a cover

    • India Marie

      The Cutkelvins’s song is Hey DJ. Sean and Conor’s song is the Sean Paul remix of Cheap Thrills.

      Fun fact: Sean Paul is Jamaican and Jamaica is not part of Latin America

    • India Marie

      The Cutkelvins will sing Reggaetón Lento. I think they can win this week!

  • India Marie

    BOYS

    Lloyd: Hero – Enrique Iglesias
    Sam: Twist and Shout – 60s classic, called a “Ritchie Valens/The Beatles” song, so I expect a dose of La Bamba and Ferris Bueler
    Leon: Get Lucky – Daft Punk feat. Pharrell

    does this mean Saturday will be Boys/Groups?

  • Martin

    Grace is going Caio Adios by Anne Marie which I think is a great choice for her.

    Holly has Despacito

    Rae Elle has Bailando – Enrique Iglesias ft. Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona which I am not familiar with

    Alisah has let’s get loud by jlo

    • India Marie

      Can’t see how you can go wrong with Anne Marie.

      Bailando is a billion-view song (at least the Spanish version is) so it’s relatively mainstream. Not sure how Rai-Elle will fit into it.

      • Martin

        If you want to over-analyse, you could argue that Ciao Adios is rather aggressive message wise, but it will suit her voice and will be nice to see if she can actually do uptempo.

        • David Cook

          I wouldn’t say it’s an aggressive message at all. It’s basically I’ve woken up to you and I’m off to get on with my own life instead of being mugged off by someone cheating on me behind my back. I would say it’s a more positive message.

          • Martin

            Yeah you’re right. Not aggressive perhaps, but it’s got a lot more attitude than any of her own drivel that we’ve seen her doing. If she can pull it off, I think she will do a good job. As you say below, based on her YouTube covers I think she will boss it.

      • Ben Cook

        Bailando was huge internationally but only a very minor UK hit so not overly helpful to Rai-Elle? Are unknown songs only ever a positive if they are self-written I wonder? Not sure.

    • India Marie

      The show’s Twitter account removed all traces of these reveals. What gives?

  • How is Holly gonna sing Despacito? Her ‘dulset’ northern tone doesn’t really appear to suit that song

  • India Marie

    OVERS

    Kevin: Smooth – Santana feat. Rob Thomas
    Matt: Livin’ La Vida Loca – Ricky Martin
    Tracyleanne: Ain’t Your Mama – Jennifer Lopez

  • David Cook

    It’s going to be interesting to see what they say about Grace now she’s doing a cover version of a song. Personally – based on her Youtube and Soundcloud performances (some of which have now been removed) – I would say this is actually much more what she’s suited to doing. Grace was mentioned as being a contender on DSF before the show started – and having seen these I was really looking forward to seeing her on the show because she seemed really contemporary and to fit in with a lot of music that’s in the charts. As someone said yesterday about the numbers of songs that are made by DJ’s / producers with guest vocalists etc – again Grace really seems to fit with this. Apparently she had the added bonus of writing her own songs. The only slight downer for me was the rather weak version of ‘Hello’. So I have to say that in many ways I’ve actually been a bit disappointed by Grace on the show, because I don’t think she’s sounded anywhere near as good as she can, and I think the songs have been a little bit insipid – particularly as they’ve been rather similar. (Roots I would say was decent).
    Now I will accept that Adele sells better than say Anne Marie – so I can see the attraction from that point of view. I would also accept that Anne Marie, Tove Lo et all, probably don’t make the sort of sales that Cowell and co would want to knock themselves out over. But IMHO it’s better to do what you’re best at.
    Therefore I do wonder if this will in some ways be a break out moment for – so that even though it’s not her own song – they promote it as the direction for her to take going forward and we do start to see another side to her.

    • Ben Cook

      I think Ciao Adios suits Grace vocally – it’s whether she can pull it off as a performance that’s the questions. Can she dance a bit or is she going to look awkward?

  • Dazzle

    Matt singing Livin’ La Vida Loca he definitely did well in the vote last week by lumbering him with that song choice

  • Joe Lemer

    Definite de-ramp for Matt getting that cheesy number. He must have polled well. Looking back it was used as a track for Wagner and Stevie Richie….I think that is rather telling.

    • Stoney

      The difference is it worked for them as they were novelty acts, so that song choice was helpful. The same will not apply for Matt. This will definately not play to his strengths or suit his voice.

  • Anglia Chu

    A lot can happen with arrangements of songs, but here are my impressions.

    GROUPS
    Rak-Su — Original Song. Clearly the show wants them to set themselves apart, but does this mean they won their night by the skin of their teeth? GREEN/AMBER

    The Cutkelvins– Hey DJ by CNCO. An all-Spanish song from a Latino boyband is alarming, but this could be a statment. The fact that CNCO collaborated with Little Mix can only mean positive expectations. GREEN

    Sean and Conor– Cheap Thrills by Sia feat. Sean Paul. Sean Paul’s parts can open up moments of creativity, but if their version does not deviate from the original too much, it could be a death sentence. “Come on come on turn the radio on. It’s Saturday” may suggest they will open the show. AMBER

    Jack and Joel– Havana by Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug. They can pull a solid performance but I can already see how many will be put off by this. Havana’s sensuality works with a female like Camila; how will they translate this? AMBER/RED

    BOYS
    Lloyd– Hero by Enrique Iglesias. This slow emotional song will make him stand out from the upbeat performances, but he is treading the line between “delight the demo” and “pigeonholed.” GREEN/AMBER

    Sam– Twist and Shout (+ La Bamba) by Ritchie Valens/The Beatles. Fun fact: the original version of this song was made 1961. This reinforces the idea that he is a dated act and I can’t see past a poor impression of Ferris Bueller. On the plus side, The Beatles are from Liverpool so maybe his home town will expand this week. RED

    Leon– Get Lucky by Daft Punk feat. Pharrell and Niles Rodgers. Does nothing for him. A rap break might save him a bit, though. RED

    • Uzair

      Why reuse havana especially since the cutkelvins did such a good job with it. But im surprised they didnt g8ve the cuktlelvina riggotoni its current and fun and would allowed shereen to demosntare her great vocals. I could see Jack and Joel Sam or Leon leaving Saturday and Kevin going Sunday. I think they might push Tracey Leanne as an alpha shes had 2 pimp slots appeared in every part of the show. She also was the last of the over to get through. In all the other categories the last act to get through is the alpha (Lloyd grace and raksu) betas got through by themself (holly mat sam and the cutkelvins) . I think grace will excel again this week unless they push Matt or alisah does well. For Saturday they cant have raksu again so maybe Lloyd will get a push but I cant imagine 2 pimp slots in a row so maybe the cutkelvins?

    • Anglia Chu

      EDIT: The Cutkelvins get the Little Mix/CNCO collab. The singing roles will be more balanced. GREEN GREEN GREEN

      • Uzair

        Yes that’s great for them that gives jay and Kyle sing the chorus and shereen will do the Adlibs. It will be great vocally for shereen maybe they’ll get the pimp slot.

    • Anglia Chu

      EDIT: Jack and Joel’s song will have a hint of Hasta el Amanecer, which make things more acceptable. AMBER

      Also, as suspected, Sam’s song will have La Bamba. Still RED.

  • Anglia Chu

    GIRLS
    Grace– Ciao Adios by Anne-Marie. Do I have to say anything else? Give her the win! GREEN GREEN GREEN

    Holly– Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber. Doesn’t compliment her but the ubiquity of the song will make her performance resonate with voters. AMBER

    Rai-Elle– Bailando by Enrique Iglesias feat. Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona. It’s a good fun song that is easy to run with but I’m not sure how Rai-Elle’s vibe will mesh with this. AMBER

    Alisah– Let’s Get Loud by Jennifer Lopez. It doesn’t pigeonhole her as Lloyd’s song does him, but it’s considerably dowdy compared to the more “modern” songs by the other Girls. AMBER

    OVERS/SEXIES
    Kevin– Smooth by Santana feat. Rob Thomas. It reinforces his musicality and fits him really well. GREEN

    Matt: Livin’ La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin. He will be safe but RED

    Tracyleanne: Ain’t Your Mama by Jennifer Lopez. On one hand, an empowering anthem that fits her, a single mum. On the other hand, it deviates from her usual and can contain land mines that will take her out. AMBER

  • Lake

    Worth noting that Jack and Joel’s song Havana is currently the #1 song in the UK charts at this moment.

  • Martin

    Cutkelvins change of song is great news.

    I have to be honest, this theme feels a bit ridiculous as a whole but I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve seen the show! Holly’s choice worries me most – it’s the most obvious song to choose given the theme, but it’s as far removed from what’s expected of he said as can be – and the possibility of a John Lewis’d version feels even worse.

    I can actually see where they’re going with Matt’s choice, and it will pigeonhole him in the sex symbol role they show has for him even more. I’m expecting more drooling over him from all the judges whilst Simon rains on the parade about the song not suiting him.

  • Alan

    Are this weekend’s shows taking the same format as last weekend’s in terms of eliminations? I dont know most of the songs but Leon’s “Get Lucky” is ringing alarm bells. Question is would TPTB rather pick off the weakest group?

  • Plinkiplonk

    This arrangement with having two categories sing each day is actually quite clever in the way that they have clearly selected two stronger and two weaker categories, but the two stronger ones cannot compete against each other now or the weekend will be unbalanced. Even if the rumored eviction of one contestant per category is true, they have now laid down the foundations for the overs and the boys to keep going up against one of the stronger ‘teams’.

    Looking at the song list, my first impression was that boys and overs were f*cked by the choice, and theme was so very clearly picked to help RakSu it’s not even funny any more. Next week will probably be ‘urban ghetto week’ (or ‘torchsongs’ if they want to even out and support Grace…)

    • Alan

      Would put Rak-Su in the cheesey RnB category rather than urban ghetto but totally agree with your comments that the category is made for them. I wonder if it has been picked so that they can continue with an original number and Grace can’t. And will this be highlighted to imply a greater level of song-writing talent for the group? We should have a clearer idea of producer favouritsm after the weekend.

  • India Marie

    Confirmed that BOYS and GROUPS will be on tonight. Sam and Leon are the favourites to leave but I can’t see BOTH leaving if it happens to be double elimination.

  • David Cook

    Are S&C really doing ‘Cheap Thrills’? Are they really doing thier hair…putting make up on…doing thier nails…wearing high heels. It’s even the wrong day of the week! Seems a bit implausible to me.

    • Anglia Chu

      They’re performing on Saturday and it won’t be long (second verse) so that’s one thing correct.

      Maybe there will be a hidden Shape of You?

  • David Cook

    The song starts on Friday – it’s Saturday second time around. I guest they might change it so it’s Saturday both times, but that sort of spoils the narrative that it’s a weekend filled with going out dancing.

  • Anglia Chu

    The Cutkelvins at their rehearsals
    https://twitter.com/CuttyGang/status/926769208305881090

    Looks like they are separate (but on relatively equal footing) at the start but will converge together mid-song. Great news!

  • Fancy this running order tonight

    Sean & Conor Price
    Lloyd
    Sam
    Rak-Su
    Leon
    Jack & Joel
    The CutKelvins

    If we are going to lose two acts, then that would leave Sean & Conor in trouble, with Leon & Sam fighting it out to see which boy goes.

    If we do get that RO, and Rak-Su top the vote again, it’s over for The CutKelvins… and another thumbs up for the only original act of the weekend

  • Joe Lemer

    Yes I backed Cutkelvins from after their 1st audition so I have an interest in them. However I’m perfectly happy to concede that if they don’t top the vote tonight then it’s all over. TPTB tested their resolve last week knowing full well RakSu would top the vote with pimp slot, original song and only 5 minutes of voting time.

    Tonight Cutkelvins I think will get producer help, pimp slot, brothers will play more of a roll and be praised thus resulting in the Scots topping the vote. Then their journey kicks in and they have a chance.

    I could of course be completely wrong but surely to make it interesting each week the viewer will be encouraged to mix up their votes and make the show interesting!

  • Just a reminder to post comments on the live show in the new thread. Thank you!

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